9 Best Music-Themed Cruises for 2016

November 19, 2015

Sail the Caribbean with your favorite bands? It can happen, you know. With intimate performances and chances to meet artists face-to-face, a concert-centered cruise is the vacation of a lifetime. Here are our picks for the best music-themed cruises for early 2016, appearing in order of departure. Get ready to rock. Want more? Best Music Cruises for Late 2016-2017

Kenny Rogers Country Music Cruise
The Country Music Cruise (Jan. 16-23, 2016) The scoop: If the music artists aren’t tempting enough (and they should be), then maybe the theme nights will win you over. Try “Boots and Buckles Night” or “Hat Night” to get you started. Ship: Holland America’s m/s Westerdam Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale Itinerary: Key West (Fla.), Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands) Artists: Kenny Rogers (pictured), Randy Owen of Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys, Mel Tillis, Kathy Mattea and more. Booking information:
Def Leppard cruise
Def Leppard: Hysteria on the High Seas (Jan. 21-25, 2016) The scoop: One cruise isn’t enough to hold back the hair metal kings of the ’80s, so Hysteria on the High Seas actually begins a day early with a pre-cruise party in Miami. Regular performances, along with musician “storyteller” performances, will be the highlight along with theme nights, a Q&A and more. Ship: MSC Divina Port of Departure: Miami Itinerary: Grand Bahama Island (Bahamas), Private Island Artists: Def Leppard, Last in Line, Tom Keifer, Kix, Kip Winger, Eric Martin and more. Booking information:
Peter Frampton Cruise
Rock Legends IV Cruise (Jan. 21-25, 2016) The scoop: Four nights hardly seems enough for this lineup of rock legends from the ’70s. In addition to the music performances is an amazing auction of autographed rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, including pieces signed by the Beatles, Gene Simmons, Roger Waters and BB King. Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale Itinerary: Grand Turks, Turks & Caicos Artists: Peter Frampton (pictured), Gregg Allman, Grand Funk Railroad, America, John Kay & Steppenwolf, The Marshall Tucker Band, Uriah Heep, Foghat, The Pat Travers Band and many more. Booking information: Sold out, but there is a waiting list. Publicity Image
Bingo Players
The Groove Cruise (Jan. 22-26, 2016) The scoop: This cruise is so big, it sails out of two ports: Miami and Los Angeles. For now, only information on the Miami cruise is available. The Groove Cruise bills itself as 96 nonstop hours of electronica, house and trance music featuring 40 artists. Ship: Norwegian Pearl Port of departure: Miami Itinerary: Ocho Rios (Jamaica) Artists: Bingo Players (pictured), Dada Life, Dash Berlin, Markus Schulz with more artists to be announced soon. Booking information: Publicity Image
Smokey Robinson cruise
Soul Train Cruise (Jan. 30-Feb. 6) The scoop: The Soul Train Cruise features nightly music performances, dance lessons from original Soul Train dancers, meet and greets, theme nights, cooking demonstrations and celebrity DJ spinning tunes late into the even at Club Soul Train. Ship: Celebrity Constellation Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale Itinerary: Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Coco Cay (Bahamas), Key West (Fla.) Artists: Smokey Robinson (pictured), The O’Jays, The Whispers, Billy Ocean, Sheila E., Atlantic Starr, Deniece Williams and many more. Booking information: Publicity Image
Gronk’s Party Ship (Feb. 19-22, 2016) The scoop: Rob Gronkowski? Wait. Isn’t he a football player? Yeah, but the New England Patriot also the host of one of the craziest music theme cruises we could find. Featuring bands, DJs and comedians, if there’s an award for “Cruise Most Likely To Run Out of Red Bull,” this is the one. Ship: Norwegian Pearl Itinerary: “Gronk’s Private Island” (Bahamas) Artists: Flo Rida (pictured), Redfoo, 3LAU, Waka Flocka Flame, Sammy Adams, Brooke Evers and more. Booking information: Publicity Image
Best Music Themed Cruises | Concert Cruises | Huey Lewis and the News
The ’80s Cruise (Feb. 28-March 6, 2016) The scoop: Featuring many of the stars from the early days of MTV, The ’80s Cruise is practically “music television” at sea. In fact, original veejays Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood are on board as hosts. Each night is a theme night (’80s Prom Night, Movie Costume Night) and cabin TVs will feature ’80s movies and TV shows. Ship: Holland America’s m/s Eurodam Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale Itinerary: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Artists: Huey Lewis and The News (pictured), Richard Marx, Starship, Kool & The Gang, A Flock of Seagulls, Modern English, Naked Eyes, Tiffany, Wang Chung, celebrity DJ Biz Markie, Jessie’s Girl tribute band. Booking information: Huey Lewis and The News/Publicity Photo
Kirk Franklin Gospel Music Cruise
The Gospel Music Cruise (March 6-13, 2016) The scoop: Nightly performance by the biggest gospel artists today is just the start. The Gospel Music Cruise includes theme parties, music panels, seminars, dancing and game shows with the celebrities onboard. Ship: Holland America’s m/s Eurodam Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale Itinerary: Grand Turk (Turks & Caicos), Road Town (Tortola), San Jan (Puerto Rico), Half Moon Cay (Bahamas) Artists: Kirk Franklin (pictured), Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammond, Shirley Caesar, Bonnie McClurkin, The Tribbett, Marvin Sapp and many more. Booking information: Publicity Image
Best Music Themed Cruises | Concert Cruises | Journey
Carnival Live (multiple ships and dates) The scoop: Carnival Cruises continues their popular Carnival Live concert series in 2016 featuring performances by Journey (pictured), Gladys Knight, KC and the Sunshine Band and Trace Adkins. Strictly speaking these aren’t “theme” cruises, but they do feature an onboard concert one night during the cruise while the ship is in port. It’s an amazing opportunity to see an artist who’d normally fill larger venues in a much more intimate setting. Gladys Knight will perform while Carnival Liberty, Carnival Valor and Carnival Splendor are docked in St. Thomas Feb. 1-3, respectively. KC & The Sunshine Band will perform in Cozumel March 22-24 aboard Carnival Paradise, Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Breeze. Journey will perform in Nassau aboard Carnival Pride May 5 and Carnival Victory May 6. Trace Adkins will perform in Nassau aboard Carnival Freedom July 6, Carnival Dream July 7 and Carnival Conquest July 8. More information: Journey/Publicity photo

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